KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

News Releases


June 16, 2016

KAP welcomes extension of Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act

Dan Mazier, president of Keystone Agricultural producers, said the extension of select provisions of federal Bill C-30, the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, sets the stage for fewer worries in the coming grain-shipping season.

The act was set to expire on August 1 this summer, but yesterday the House of Commons unanimously passed the extension.

Provisions that will now remain in effect include the right of the federal government to set volume requirements on grain the railways must carry, if the need arises.

As well, the limit on interswitching – where one railway can move grain of the other railway’s customer – will remain at 160 kilometres instead of the usual 30. This gives shippers with only one choice of railway fair and reasonable access to the rail system at a regulated rate.

“This extension will mean Western Canadian farmers can rest assured knowing they’ll be protected for the coming shipping season,” Mazier said. “It’s important to all of us – and I have taken the opportunity to discuss it before a Senate committee, and with Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

“Now KAP and other farm groups must work to ensure important provisions of Bill C-30 are incorporated into the Canada Transportation Act when it is amended, following the current review.”

Bill C-30, put into place in 2014, was a response to inadequate rail service that backed up the entire grain-shipping system – from elevators all the way through to ports. Farmers lost hundred of millions in income  – some estimates say billions – because the over-supply at local elevators drove local prices down compared to the price at port.

The situation also resulted in penalties to grain companies for late deliveries to international buyers, lost contracts, and demurrage charges as ships waited empty for days in port. Charges of this nature are ultimately passed on to farmers.

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For more information:
Dan Mazier, president – 204-720-4646

Val Ominski, KAP communications co-ordinator – 204-697-1140 (ext. 3)